Exploiting the MODIS albedos with the Two-stream Inversion Package (JRC-TIP): 1. Effective leaf area index, vegetation, and soil properties



[1] This contribution illustrates results from a large-scale application of the Joint Research Centre Two-stream Inversion Package (JRC-TIP), using MODIS broadband visible and near-infrared white sky surface albedos as inputs. The discussion focuses on products (based on the mean and one-sigma values of the probability distribution functions (PDFs)) obtained during the summer and winter. This paper discusses the retrieved model parameters including the effective leaf area index (LAI), the background brightness, and the scattering efficiency of the vegetation elements. The similarity between the derived LAI seasonal maps and earlier distributions of this variable comforts us in the quality of the albedo products as well as in the ability of the JRC-TIP to interpret the latter meaningfully. The opportunity to generate global maps of new products, such as the background albedo, underscores the advantages of using state of the art algorithmic approaches capable of fully exploiting accurate satellite remote sensing data sets. The detailed analyses of the retrieval uncertainties highlight the central role and contribution of the LAI, the main process parameter to interpret radiation transfer observations over vegetated surfaces. The estimation of the radiation fluxes that are absorbed, transmitted, and scattered by the vegetation layer and its background is achieved on the basis of the retrieved PDFs of the model parameters. Results from this latter step are discussed in a companion paper.